Litter boxes are the one bad thing about having a cat, but these 2 different hidden DIY cat litter boxes are a definite improvement. They’re based on modifications of Ikea furniture, so they’re pretty simple and they can double as a low table or bench.
The first project uses a Besta shelving unit, which was also used for this DIY bunny hutch. For the hidden litter box, they cut a doorway through the inner divider and applied contact paper to the inner compartment for easy clean-up. I think I might put something more durable like metal sheeting.
The second project uses a bench no longer sold by Ikea, but the Stuva bench looks like it would work. Instead of a door, there is a drawer to keep everything hidden and tidy. You’ll have to cut an opening through the bench and the drawer. And I think I’d also line the drawer with metal sheeting.
This post is one that gets a lot of comments and I’m tickled so many people have found it useful. We’ve had our DIY litter boxes for at least 2 yrs. now. We still love them—as much as you can love a litter box. And they’re still in great shape. Yea!
About a month ago, one of our two cats started peeing while standing up in their litter box. We were using a LitterMaid litter box at the time. My feelings about the LitterMaid were mixed. I appreciated not having to scoop the box all the time, but emptying the collection bin was a pain and cleaning the box was a real hassle. And while I was glad the cats always had a clean box to use, I really didn’t like that even after a couple of years, Sage would still come from another room to whack the rake when she heard it moving and often when Raven finished using the box, she’d come flying out of it lest the “monster” get her. Plus, scooping the litter boxes yourself is a good way to keep track of your cat’s health.
So first, I made an appointment with our vet to have the cats checked out since changes in urinary habits can be a sign of illness. And I bought a new litter box. The cats both got clean bills of health, but the stand-up peeing started happening more often. The new litter box leaked urine where the hood met the lid and made a smelly mess. I bought another litter box which had the hood sitting within the lip of the lower pan. Now the urine didn’t leak out of the box, but I had to clean the hood and the lip of the lower pan everyday. This was not working and we were out $60 on useless litter boxes.
It’s easy, cheap, and quick to make your own litter box. Here’s what you’ll need to make one yourself:
- lidded, plastic container deep enough for your cat to stand in without touching the lid. I made a larger litter box using a Rubbermaid Roughneck Storage Box, Large, 25 gal, 28.8 x 19.7 x 16.5 in, which cost between $10-$12 from Fred Meyer. You can find these lidded storage boxes at thrift stores & stores like Target, Walmart, Lowes, etc.
Using a Sharpie, I drew freehand what would be the opening. Keep in mind that you’ll want the opening high if you have a cat that pees standing up. They’ll be less likely to pee with their rear-end hanging out the door. I put the opening at the narrow end of the box because that’s what our cats are used to and I think they’re less likely to pee out the door that way. Then I carefully cut out the opening with a utility knife. (Another option would be to cut the opening in the lid so that it looked something like this litter box by Clevercat.)
That’s all it takes! Fill the box with cat litter and replace lid for a covered litter box or leave it off if your cats prefer. Here are some thumbnails of how mine turned out.
I don’t think I’ll ever buy another litter box. I love that the lid is flat. It makes it easier to store it when I scoop the box—I just lean it against the wall. And when the lid is in place on top of the box, it provides a level area to store the scoop, bags, and cat litter. It has good handles so it’s easy to move. It’s big, so the cats are happy. The sides are high so there’s nothing to clean up if they pee standing up. You can get them in a few different colors. If you have the tools to cut harder plastic, you can get transparent storage bins. And it’s so much cheaper than buying litter boxes from a store!
Check out these clever Ikea furniture hacks to make attractive covers to disguise you cats’ litter box. Two are made with “Snack Boxes” and the third is made using the “Hol Storage Box”, which may no longer be available. But, Ikea has lots of things that could be turned into litter box cabinets.
Here’s another DIY litter box cabinet.
Do you have a little stinker of a cat like our Crow who can’t leave the potting soil in house plants alone? Some cats even use plant pots as a litter box. At least Crow doesn’t do that!
I found a quick fix to keep cats out of plant pots—just put down a layer of decorative rocks. Beach glass would work too. Use something that’s too big to be attractive to dig in and isn’t round enough that it looks like a toy. The roots of the plants can still breathe and you can just lift a rock to check if the soil is dry and needs water.
If your cat has used your plants as a litter box, I recommend:
- removing the plant and carefully washing away as much soil as possible in a bucket (don’t pour this down a drain)
- cleaning the pot
- replanting the plant in new soil
- cover in a layer of rocks!
Make your own hidden litter box cabinet. You can camouflage you cat’s litter box and make it match your other furniture.
These instructions are pretty good, but you will need some knowledge about the use of power tools. And you’ll need something like a jig saw to cut the opening. The design includes a wire platform made from an inverted wire basket to help get cat litter off your kitty’s feet. My cats wouldn’t like how open the grid is on the wire platform, so I would use something like a wire cooling rack (for baking) that has a smaller grid. Or you can leave the wire platform off.
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